2010 UFL season
|2010 United Football League season|
|Duration||September 18, 2010 – November 20, 2010|
|2010 UFL Championship Game|
|Date||November 27, 2010|
|Site||Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium, Omaha, Nebraska|
|Champion||Las Vegas Locomotives|
| United Football League seasons
The 2010 United Football League season was the second season of the United Football League. The regular season ran from September 18 to November 20 and featured five teams playing eight games each (twice against each of the other teams) over a 10-week span. The 2010 season was a relatively competitive one as no team won more than five games, and no team lost more than five. The season ended with the 2010 UFL Championship Game on November 27 at Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Nebraska, where the Las Vegas Locomotives defeated the Florida Tuskers, 23–20.
League changes for 2010
The UFL based its plans for 2010 in part on the lessons learned from its inaugural season in 2009, a year the league considered a modest "dress rehearsal". One of the lessons learned from 2009 was that the league performed better in cities that did not have a NFL presence. To that end, the league relocated two of their 2009 franchises away from NFL markets: The New York Sentinels were relocated to Hartford, Connecticut (where they played one home game in 2009) and were renamed the Hartford Colonials, while the California Redwoods, a team based in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2009, were moved to Sacramento, California and became the Sacramento Mountain Lions. Rentschler Field and Hornet Stadium were the respective home venues for the Colonials and Mountain Lions.
Along with the above franchise shifts, the league set forth to add two new franchises; San Antonio, Texas was considered as the leading candidate for a new team along with Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, and Omaha. Civic leaders in San Antonio were cool to the league's advances, however, citing previous failed football teams in the city and the fear that the UFL's presence would hinder the University of Texas at San Antonio's launch of its Division I college football team in 2011. Instead, the league added just one franchise for 2010, the Omaha Nighthawks, who spent 2010 at Rosenblatt Stadium before moving downtown to TD Ameritrade Park Omaha for 2011.
Three of the four charter teams retained their ownership from the previous year, though some sold portions of their teams to minority owners. The lone exception was the Florida Tuskers; Stuart Sternberg pulled out of ownership after the 2009 season and filed legal action against the league for funds he believes is owed to his company, Sunburst Entertainment Group. After spending the offseason and the first four weeks of the season under league ownership, a group led by Joe Theismann purchased the Tuskers in October 2010. NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson agreed to purchase the Omaha Nighthawks. Mark Cuban also loaned the league $5 million in April 2010; in January 2011, he filed a federal lawsuit against the league after they had yet to repay the loan.
To account for the odd number of teams (five), each team played an eight-game schedule over a 10-week span (as opposed to six games in seven weeks during 2009); two bye weeks for each team were included. The schedule's double round robin format remained intact. Also, all of the games were being played in the teams' home stadiums, as opposed to the neutral site "barnstorming" approach used for some of the 2009 games.
In another change from 2009, the UFL strengthened local exposure of its teams, including radio coverage (see Broadcasting below) and the establishment of training camps and practices at sites in each team's market. (During 2009, the teams trained and practiced in two sites, Orlando and Casa Grande, Arizona.) Additionally, each team gained their own uniform identity for 2010, loosening them from the standard league colors (green, blue, black, silver) and uniform template used in 2009.
- The Hartford Colonials adopted a navy blue and gold color scheme.
- The Omaha Nighthawks' colors are metallic silver, black and slate gray, as well as donning the league's first ever alternate jersey of a camouflage color scheme.
- The Sacramento Mountain Lions sport shades of gold and tan along with black trim.
- The Las Vegas Locomotives kept silver and black in their palette, but replaced UFL blue with crimson (which replaced silver as the main color on their home jerseys).
- The Florida Tuskers retained their UFL blue/black/silver palette, with black replacing blue as the primary home jersey color.
The 2010 season was a high-water mark for the league. The Sacramento and Omaha franchises were rousing successes with their fanbases, regularly playing to sold-out stadiums with over 20,000 fans a week. The league's salaries would be the highest in its history, peaking at $200,000 a year for a starting quarterback (a level comparable to the National Football League's minimum per-game salary); as such, the league was able to sign prominent NFL veterans such as Daunte Culpepper (Sacramento) and Jeff Garcia (Omaha). The inability to sustain that level of spending and the systemic lack of sustainable revenue sources to match it became evident shortly after the season, prompting the league's slow unraveling over the course of the next two seasons. The league had intended to lose money the first two seasons in an effort to sell their product to television for a rights fee high enough to sustain spending at 2010 levels, but the networks refused to buy a rights package, instead insisting on payment from the league for television coverage.
Coaching changes for 2010
|Team||2010 Coach||2009 Coach||Reason for leaving||Story/Accomplishments|
|Hartford Colonials||Chris Palmer||Ted Cottrell||Fired||Cottrell compiled an 0-6 (.000) record in his lone season as the head coach of the New York Sentinels. Upon the team's move to Hartford, Palmer, a longtime NFL assistant and the first head coach of the revived Cleveland Browns, was named head coach and general manager.|
|Florida Tuskers||Jay Gruden||Jim Haslett||Resigned||Before leaving to become defensive coordinator for the NFL's Washington Redskins, Haslett compiled a 6-1 (.857) record, including a perfect 2009 regular season and an overtime loss in the championship game. He was replaced by Gruden, the Tuskers' offensive coordinator and a former coach of the Arena Football League's Orlando Predators; he is the brother of former NFL head coach Jon Gruden.|
|Omaha Nighthawks||Jeff Jagodzinski||N/A||N/A||Jagodzinski was named as the expansion franchise's first head coach on April 15, 2010. He has coached in the NFL and college football for over 20 years, including a 2-year stint as Boston College head coach.|
The 2010 season was the second and final year in the UFL's initial broadcast deals with HDNet and Versus; HDNet carried 10 regular season games, while Versus carried 8 games plus the championship game. In addition, the league gained its first partnership with a regional network—the New England-based NESN, which carried 2 Hartford Colonials home games. The league website provided live and archived video streaming for all games, while YouTube provided a live HD simuclast of Versus' Championship Game broadcast with additional content.
Also, UFL games were carried on radio for the first time, with each team having their own flagship station:
|Team||2010 Radio broadcaster|
|Florida Tuskers||WYGM (740 AM) (primary); WFLA (540 AM) (secondary)|
|Hartford Colonials||WPOP (1410 AM)|
|Las Vegas Locomotives||KWWN (1100 AM) (primary); KBAD (920 AM) (secondary)|
|Omaha Nighthawks||KOZN (1620 AM)|
|Sacramento Mountain Lions||KHTK (1140 AM)|
|Final score||Team record|
|1||Saturday, September 18||11:00 p.m. ET||at Las Vegas Locomotives||W 27–20||1–0||Sam Boyd Stadium||9,103||HDNet|
|2||Saturday, September 25||11:00 p.m. ET||at Sacramento Mountain Lions||L 20–24||1–1||Hornet Stadium||20,000||Versus|
|3||Thursday, September 30||6:00 p.m. ET||Las Vegas Locomotives||L 17–20||1–2||Citrus Bowl||9,053||Versus|
|4||Saturday, October 9||3:00 p.m. ET||at Hartford Colonials||W 33–20||2–2||Rentschler Field||14,468||Versus|
|6||Thursday, October 21||7:00 p.m. ET||Sacramento Mountain Lions||L 17–21||2–3||Citrus Bowl||10,066||HDNet|
|8||Friday, November 5||8:00 p.m. ET||Omaha Nighthawks||W 31–14||3–3||Citrus Bowl||9,203||HDNet|
|9||Thursday, November 11||7:00 p.m. ET||Hartford Colonials||W 41–7||4–3||Citrus Bowl||9,367||HDNet|
|10||Friday, November 19||8:30 p.m. ET||at Omaha Nighthawks||W 27–10||5–3||Rosenblatt Stadium||21,106||HDNet|
|Final score||Team record|
|1||Saturday, September 18||2:30 p.m. ET||Sacramento Mountain Lions||W 27–10||1–0||Rentschler Field||14,384||NESN|
|2||Friday, September 24||8:00 p.m. ET||at Omaha Nighthawks||L 26–27||1–1||Rosenblatt Stadium||23,067||HDNet|
|4||Saturday, October 9||3:00 p.m. ET||Florida Tuskers||L 20–33||1–2||Rentschler Field||14,468||Versus|
|5||Saturday, October 16||3:00 p.m. ET||Omaha Nighthawks||L 14–19||1–3||Rentschler Field||14,056||NESN|
|6||Saturday, October 23||3:30 p.m. ET||at Las Vegas Locomotives||L 21–24 (OT)||1–4||Sam Boyd Stadium||8,451||Versus|
|7||Saturday, October 30||11:00 p.m. ET||at Sacramento Mountain Lions||W 27–26||2–4||Hornet Stadium||13,500||Versus|
|9||Thursday, November 11||7:00 p.m. ET||at Florida Tuskers||L 7–41||2–5||Citrus Bowl||9,637||HDNet|
|10||Saturday, November 20||3:30 p.m. ET||Las Vegas Locomotives||W 27–14||3–5||Rentschler Field||14,554||Versus|
Las Vegas Locomotives
|Final score||Team record|
|1||Saturday, September 18||8:00 p.m. PT||Florida Tuskers||L 20–27||0–1||Sam Boyd Stadium||9,103||HDNet|
|3||Thursday, September 30||3:00 p.m. PT||at Florida Tuskers||W 20–17||1–1||Citrus Bowl||9,053||Versus|
|4||Friday, October 8||7:00 p.m. PT||Omaha Nighthawks||W 22–10||2–1||Sam Boyd Stadium||9,767||HDNet|
|5||Friday, October 15||8:00 p.m. PT||at Sacramento Mountain Lions||W 26–3||3–1||Hornet Stadium||19,000||HDNet|
|6||Saturday, October 23||12:30 p.m. PT||Hartford Colonials||W 24–21 (OT)||4–1||Sam Boyd Stadium||8,451||Versus|
|7||Thursday, October 28||5:00 p.m. PT||at Omaha Nighthawks||W 24–10||5–1||Rosenblatt Stadium||23,554||HDNet|
|8||Saturday, November 6||8:00 p.m. PT||Sacramento Mountain Lions||L 24–27||5–2||Sam Boyd Stadium||13,622||Versus|
|10||Saturday, November 20||12:30 p.m. PT||at Hartford Colonials||L 14–27||5–3||Rentschler Field||14,554||Versus|
|Final score||Team record|
|2||Friday, September 24||7:00 p.m. CT||Hartford Colonials||W 27–26||1–0||Rosenblatt Stadium||23,067||HDNet|
|3||Saturday, October 2||7:30 p.m. CT||Sacramento Mountain Lions||W 20–17||2–0||Rosenblatt Stadium||23,416||HDNet|
|4||Friday, October 8||9:00 p.m. CT||at Las Vegas Locomotives||L 10–22||2–1||Sam Boyd Stadium||9,767||HDNet|
|5||Saturday, October 16||2:00 p.m. CT||at Hartford Colonials||W 19–14||3–1||Rentschler Field||14,056||NESN|
|7||Thursday, October 28||7:00 p.m. CT||Las Vegas Locomotives||L 10–24||3–2||Rosenblatt Stadium||23,554||HDNet|
|8||Friday, November 5||7:00 p.m. CT||at Florida Tuskers||L 14–31||3–3||Citrus Bowl||9,203||HDNet|
|9||Saturday, November 13||10:00 p.m. CT||at Sacramento Mountain Lions||L 3–41||3–4||Hornet Stadium||20,000||Versus|
|10||Friday, November 19||7:30 p.m. CT||Florida Tuskers||L 10–27||3–5||Rosenblatt Stadium||21,106||HDNet|
Sacramento Mountain Lions
|Final score||Team record|
|1||Saturday, September 18||11:30 a.m. PT||at Hartford Colonials||L 10–27||0–1||Rentschler Field||14,384||NESN|
|2||Saturday, September 25||8:00 p.m. PT||Florida Tuskers||W 24–20||1–1||Hornet Stadium||20,000||Versus|
|3||Saturday, October 2||5:30 p.m. PT||at Omaha Nighthawks||L 17–20||1–2||Rosenblatt Stadium||23,416||HDNet|
|5||Friday, October 15||8:00 p.m. PT||Las Vegas Locomotives||L 3–26||1–3||Hornet Stadium||19,000||HDNet|
|6||Thursday, October 21||4:00 p.m. PT||at Florida Tuskers||W 21–17||2–3||Citrus Bowl||10,066||HDNet|
|7||Saturday, October 30||8:00 p.m. PT||Hartford Colonials||L 26–27||2–4||Hornet Stadium||13,500||Versus|
|8||Saturday, November 6||8:00 p.m. PT||at Las Vegas Locomotives||W 27–24||3–4||Sam Boyd Stadium||13,622||Versus|
|9||Saturday, November 13||8:00 p.m. PT||Omaha Nighthawks||W 41–3||4–4||Hornet Stadium||20,000||Versus|
|United Football League|
|y-Las Vegas Locomotives||5||3||0||.625||174||142||L2|
|x-Sacramento Mountain Lions||4||4||0||.500||169||164||W2|
y-denotes team has clinched a 2010 UFL Championship Game berth
x-denotes team has been eliminated from championship contention
The 2010 UFL Championship was held on November 27, 2010 (two days after Thanksgiving) and involved the Las Vegas Locomotives and Florida Tuskers, who finished first and second, respectively, in the league standings. The Locomotives won the championship game for the second straight year, beating the Tuskers 23-20 behind an MVP performance by quarterback Chase Clement and a blocked field goal by defensive lineman Alfred Malone on the final play. The game was played at Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Nebraska, which was chosen as host venue on October 18, 2010, after the league employed a formula that took into consideration "advance ticket and merchandise sales, energy for all events prior to the season starting, and team record" to determine the site. (The first-year Nighthawks sold out each of their 4 home games, including the first UFL game with over 20,000 in attendance.)
The UFL's attendance generally improved from its inaugural season; in that year, the average attendance was 9,678 spectators per game, with one game as low as 4,312 fans and the highest-attended game at less than 18,187. For the 20 home dates in the 2010 regular season, crowd numbers ranged from a high of 23,554 (Las Vegas at Omaha on October 28) to a low of 8,451 (Hartford at Las Vegas on October 23). The league's newest markets—Omaha, Sacramento, and Hartford—were the front runners in attendance, with the Nighthawks selling out all 4 of their home games and never failing to draw less than 21,000 to Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium. The Mountain Lions and Colonials saw marked improvements from their 2009 seasons in the San Francisco and New York markets, respectively.
After being the attendance leaders in 2009, both Las Vegas and Florida suffered noticeable declines at the turnstiles during 2010. The crowd decrease for the Locos, coupled with a high rate of rent at Sam Boyd Stadium, led the league and team management to consider a smaller, more affordable home stadium for 2011, such as Cashman Field.
Note that in the table below, numbers for the Sacramento Mountain Lions are rounded to the nearest 500 spectators; Sacramento did not give out exact ticket counts and only offered estimates.
|Team||Home Gms||Home Total||Home Avg||Top Home Crowd||Road Gms||Road Total||Road Avg||Overall Gms||Overall Total||Overall Avg|
|Omaha Nighthawks||4||91,143||22,785||23,554 (10/28 vs. LV)||4||53,026||13,256||8||144,169||18,021|
|Sacramento Mountain Lions||4||72,500||18,125||20,000 (9/25 vs. FLA and 11/13 vs. OMA)||4||61,488||15,372||8||133,988||16,749|
|Hartford Colonials||4||57,462||14,366||14,554 (11/20 vs. LV)||4||54,655||13,664||8||112,117||14,015|
|Las Vegas Locomotives||4||40,943||10,236||13,622 (11/6 vs. SAC)||4||66,161||16,540||8||107,104||13,388|
|Florida Tuskers||4||37,689||9,422||10,066 (10/21 vs. SAC)||4||64,677||16,169||8||102,366||12,796|
|League||20||299,737||14,987||23,554 (LV at OMA on 10/23)||20||300,007||15,000||-||-||-|
Players of the week
|1||Josh McCown, QB, Hartford||Brandon Moore, LB, Las Vegas||Nick Novak, K, Florida|
|2|| Daunte Culpepper, QB, Sacramento
Jeff Garcia, QB, Omaha
|Zeke Moreno, LB, Sacramento||Fabrizio Scaccia, K, Sacramento|
|3||DeDe Dorsey, RB, Las Vegas||Eric Henderson, DE, Las Vegas||Tom Malone, P, Sacramento|
|4||Dominic Rhodes, RB, Florida||Isaiah Trufant, CB, Las Vegas||Nick Novak, K, Florida|
|5||Jeff Garcia, QB, Omaha||Lewis Baker, S, Las Vegas||Steve Hauschka, K, Las Vegas|
|6||Daunte Culpepper, QB, Sacramento||Derek Walker, DE, Hartford||Steve Hauschka, K, Las Vegas|
|7||Lorenzo Booker, RB, Hartford||Kevin Hobbs, CB, Las Vegas||Aaron Woods, KR, Sacramento|
|8||Chris Greisen, QB, Florida||Keiwan Ratliff, CB, Florida||Fabrizio Scaccia, K, Sacramento|
|9|| Cory Ross, RB, Sacramento
Dominic Rhodes, RB, Florida
|Eric Moncur, DE, Sacramento||Nick Novak, K, Florida|
|10||Chris Greisen, QB, Florida||Darius Vinnett, CB, Florida||Nick Novak, K, Florida|
Players and Coach of the Year
- Offensive Player of the Year: Cory Ross, Running Back, Sacramento Mountain Lions
- Defensive Player of the Year: Isaiah Trufant, Cornerback, Las Vegas Locomotives
- Special Teams Player of the Year: Nick Novak, Kicker, Florida Tuskers
- Coach of the Year: Jim Fassel, Las Vegas Locomotives
- Keefer, Case (2009-11-25). "UFL's first season served as a 'dress rehearsal'". Las Vegas Sun. Archived from the original on 15 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-17.
- Barrows, Matthew (2010-01-26). "UFL club may come to town". The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved 2010-07-17.
- Orsborn, Tom (2010-04-14). "UFL plays waiting game with S.A.". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved 2010-07-13.
- "No UFL in S.A.? Not a loss says city leaders". KENS. 2010-04-14. Retrieved 2010-07-13.
- Joe Theismann to buy the Florida Tuskers. Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2010-09-30.
- "Training Camps Kick Off Aug. 16". United Football League. UFLAccess.com. 2010-08-12. Archived from the original on 27 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-18.
- "Stars of UFL Unveil New 2010 Team Uniforms at Fashion Show Mall in Las Vegas". United Football League. 2010-07-28. Archived from the original on 30 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-28.
- Sloan, Dusty (September 28, 2010). UFL quarterbacks: high value, low price. AOL News. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
- "United Football League Creates Historic Partnership with YouTube to Broadcast 2010 Championship Game Live", from ufl-football.com, 11/24/2010
- "Fan Loyalty to Help Determine Site for 2010 UFL Championship Game". United Football League. 2010-05-12. Retrieved 2010-05-12.
- Pivovar, Steven (2010-10-18). Rosenblatt Stadium lands UFL title game. Omaha World-Herald. Retrieved 2010-10-18.
- Carp, Steve (2010-11-06). UFL's Locomotives to return for third season despite poor attendance. Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 2010-11-07.
- "Colonials Quarterback, Locos Linebacker and Tuskers Kicker Named UFL Players of Week 1". United Football League. 2010-09-20. Archived from the original on 22 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-20.
- Game Winning QBs Culpepper & Garcia share UFL Players of the Week 2
- Week 3 POW awards
- UFL Player of Week 4 Honors
- Quarterback Jeff Garcia Earns Second UFL Player of the Week Award; Las Vegas Locos Pair Honored Archived October 22, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
- Quarterback Daunte Culpepper Earns Second United Football League Player of the Week Award
- United Football League Player of the Week Honors
- UFL Player of the Week Honors
- Cory Ross and Dominic Rhodes Share UFL Offensive Player of the Week Award
- Players of Week 10
- "UFL Names Season MVP's", UFL press release via OurSportsCentral.com, 11/23/2010
- "UFL Coach of the Year", UFL press release via OurSportsCentral.com, 11/23/2010